Winter Park Resort is reporting 11 inches of fresh powder in the past 24 hours this morning and nearly 17 inches in the two days. The fresh snow may well save the holiday ski season for the resort. While the mountain continued opening lifts and runs early this week, some skiers reporte icy and bare conditions on popular runs over the holiday weekend.
If this December’s snowfall seems lighter than 2008, it’s because only about 26 percent has fallen relative to this month last year.
“The track of the storms this year has been a little farther south,” said Carl Burroughs, hydrometeorological technician with the National Weather Service.
While El Nino is often blamed for higher snowfall in Colorado’s southern mountains, Burroughs said local observers have noticed “just really a different storm track this year.”
“The San Juans have had a good amount of snow,” he said.
While a Wednesday night storm was expected to bring up to 5 inches, forecasts call for just a few flurries to close out 2009 and continue into the weekend. Temperatures the next few days are to vary between single-digit lows and highs in the 20s.
Through the next month, Colorado could receive closer-to-average precipitation statewide, with temperatures near average as well, according to the NWS Climate Prediction Center at http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov.
Into the next three months, the prediction center forecasts north central Colorado to perhaps receive above-average precipitation and temperatures.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts the region in January to receive above-average precipitation and temperatures, with the snowiest period occurring from the middle to end of the month. Mid- to late-December was also predicted to be among the snowiest for the area, according to the almanac at http://www.almanac.com/weather/longrange.
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